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NCTE Paul and Kate Farmer English Journal Writing Award

2016 Winners:

Jennifer AnsbachJennifer Ansbach for “Using Memorials to Build Critical Thinking Skills and Empathy,” March 2016

In this timely article Ansbach asks students to challenge their views of iconic memorials and guides students through the challenges of creating a memorial that represents all. Her work demonstrates the important role English teachers play in helping students develop empathy. Ansbach requires her students to demonstrate rich critical thinking along with empathy, two qualities essential for students to possess as they grow up.

Jennifer Ansbach, NBCT, teaches high school English in New Jersey. Her work on creating empathy and building literacy practices has appeared in English Journal and English Leadership Quarterly. Blending her love of literature with her love of American Studies, Ansbach seeks to help students read the world around them and find a larger context for their own lives. She is active in her district’s professional development committee and is the PD chair for her local union association. Her book on taking charge of the evaluation process is expected from Heinemann in 2017.

Kiran SubhaniKiran Subhani for “Photos as Witness: Teaching Visual Literacy for Research and Social Action,” November 2015
In this article, Subhani helps students position themselves in both recognition of and creating a call to action using visual literacy. Subhani emphasizes the importance of visual literacy in today’s world as students are bombarded and bombard others with visual images. The article is thoroughly researched and provides thoughtful, guided plans for other teachers to incorporate this relevant and hands-on project in their own classrooms.

Kiran Subhani is an English teacher at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ilinois. As an equity leader in her district, she is committed to integrating multiple voices, perspectives, and narratives into her curriculum and classroom. She also facilitates workshops designed to engage administrators, faculty/staff, and students in personal reflection and courageous conversations about issues of equity, diversity, and social justice. Her article, "Beyond Mirrored Worlds: Teaching World Literature to Challenge Students’ Perception of the Other," about a course she designed for her department's senior elective program, also won the Paul and Kate Farmer Award in 2007.  

2016 Committee
Chair: Caitlin Murphy, Hudson High School, MA
Janis Mottern-High, Twin Falls, ID
Courtney Morgan, Skyline High School, Idaho Falls, ID
Sarah Fletcher
Janet Atkins, Wade Hampton High School, Greenville, SC 


Nominations are not accepted for this award.

Purpose:  The award recognizes outstanding English Journal articles written by classroom teachers.

Eligibility:  The award shall be given once each year, covering issues published between September and July of the previous volume year. Entrants must be high school teachers and may include those on leave or not currently teaching. The editor of English Journal shall draw up the annual list of eligible authors and shall be the arbiter of eligibility. Up to two honorable mentions (runners-up) may also be named.

Award Criteria:  The award shall be given annually to the authors of two articles written by teachers and published in English Journal. Book reviewers will not be eligible for consideration, but articles written for specific English Journal columns may be considered. Teachers currently on leave may be considered, as may former teachers presently not employed. In the case of co-authored articles, if one author teaches at a college or university and is therefore eligible for the Edwin M. Hopkins Award, the article will be considered for that award and not the Farmer Award.

English JournalAward Specifics:  The award is announced by the award committee chair and presented by the journal editor at the Secondary Section Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention. The winner receives a plaque, $100 honorarium, complimentary registration for the NCTE Annual Convention, and a ticket to the Secondary Section Luncheon. Honorable mentions receive a certificate, complimentary registration for the NCTE Annual Convention, and a ticket to the Secondary Section Luncheon.

The award is named after Paul and Kate Farmer, founders and donors.

Judging:  The Farmer Award Committee determines the winner based upon articles meeting the criteria by August 15. The award committee shall consist of a chair nominated by the editor of English Journal and three to five readers nominated by the members of the Secondary Section Steering Committee.

Past Winners:  Full List of Past Winners

•    Jennifer Ansbach, New Jersey, “Using Memorials to Build Critical Thinking Skills and Empathy,” March 2016
•    Kiran Subhani, New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois, “Photos as Witness: Teaching Visual Literacy for Research and Social Action,” November 2015

•    Chris Gilbert, Henderson, North Carolina, “A Call for Subterfuge: Shielding the ELA Classroom from the Restrictive Sway of the Common Core.” November 2014
•    Jennifer Rossuck, Albertville, Alabama, “My Year of Sports.” September 2014

Honorable Mentions:
•    Michael Hoffman, Ann Arbor, Michigan, “Peer Response, Remixed: Authentic Peer Response through Audio Technology.” March 2015
•    Alyssa Niccolini, Brooklyn, New York, "Precocious Knowledge: Using Banned Books to Engage in a Youth Lens.” January 2015

•    Donna Canan, Kirkwood High School, Missouri, “I Hear America Sing: Promoting Democracy through Literature.” November 2013
•    David Peter Noskin, New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois, for “Toward a Clearer Picture of Assessment: One Teacher’s Formative Approach.” September 2013

Honorable Mentions:
•    Michael Pagliaro, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, “Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Determining the Criteria for Graphic Novels with Literary Merit.” March 2014
•    Jennifer Isgitt and Quentin Donnellan, Fossil Ridge High School, Keller, Texas, “Discussion-Based Problem Solving: An English-Calculus Collaboration Emphasizes Cross-Curricular Thinking Skills.” January 2014


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